By Dawood Vaid
Here is a question:
What is common between a Parent and the Traffic lights?
Both gives instructions! And it’s mostly RED!
This is the third article in the series and we will focus on the PARENTING MODELS.
What are the Parenting models?
These are based on the ways and manners a parent talks to his or her child. Our conversations are abrupt and mostly monotones.
The first model we wanted to discuss is the
“Rules of traffic” model
It is an instructional approach to upbringing. Parents explain to their children how to behave, assuming that they taught the rules of behaviour as they did the rules of traffic. What you try to teach a child does not necessarily mean it will get through to them.
For example, a teenager was told “a thousand times” that stealing was wrong, yet the teen continued to do so. The problem of parenting, in this case, is not that they tried to teach him/her the right thing, but that they considered parenting as a single, narrow minded method of parenting, without fulfilling the range of parental duties.
It is like a one way road with only the parent speaking and NO ENTRY for the children!
Story of Father, Sons and Movie
A father and two sons were alone at home. The sons come to father and tell him they want to see a movie. The father reminds then that the movie has about 15 mins of not very advisable clipping and dialogues.
The sons seems adamant. “Come on Dad, its just 15 mins, the whole 2 hours are fine.” Instead of arguing and telling them not to go, the father decides to teach them a practical lesson.
He says, we still have 30 mins for the movie, “Can we make some biscuits?” The kids are like, “Sure.”
They make the dough, add the ingredients and now it’s time to bake the cookies for 5 mins in the Microwave. Just as they are about to bake them, the father asks his sons to go to their backyard and get some excreta of the hen.
The sons are like, “dad was ok just now, what happened to him suddenly!” But they were too keen to go to the movie and did not mind this nonsense. The father put the hen’s excreta on top of the biscuits and put them for baking.
In 5 mins, nice brown biscuits are ready. The father offers them, but they are like, “are you sure, we should eat them!” Well, the dirt is only 2% of the whole biscuit, what is the problem.
PARENTAL ADVICE: Do you think the message has been conveyed. But of course, as a good father, he would not have stopped here, but taken his kids for another movie or a restaurant or some theme park.
Get ACTIVE with your children. They need you.
Much has been said about the mother’s role and that is why I keep talking about the dads. Perhaps you can call it a bias, but as a father of two lovely daughters myself, I see an obligation first from me to my family and would like to encourage other fathers too!
It has been estimated that working fathers spend about 3 minutes a day with their children.
Here is a classic scenario: Dad gets up early, takes the long drive to work, gets off late, takes the long drive home, and gets home very tired. He just wants to have dinner, relax a little, and go to bed so that he can repeat the same routine the next day. Every now and then, he tells himself that he will spend more time with his children tomorrow.
But Muslims aren’t like that, you say.
How much time do you spend with your children in the day? Not just in the same house, but together — really together.
A popular song talks about the sad story of a boy who always tries to spend time with his father, but always finds him too busy. When the boy grows up and the father gets older, the father always wants to spend time with his son, but his son always has other things to do.
Finally, we return to wisdom left from Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) which of course is the best of the speeches of men.
The Prophet described his role simply and elegantly: “I have been sent to perfect the character of all people.” Is this then not my job as a father?
(The writer lives in Mumbai with his two daughters and enjoys horse riding lessons and story-telling sessions with them. He can be reached at [email protected])